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SPECIAL COLLECTION 

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queeN's UNiveusrrp 

AT klNQSITON 
Presented by 

Dr. A.R.M. Lower. 1965. 
KINGSTON ONTARIO CANADA 



ANALYTICAL EXPOSITION 



ERRONEOUS PRINCIPLES AND RUINOUS CONSEQUENCES 



FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL SYSTEMS 



GREAT BRITAIN. 



ILLUSTRATIVE OF THEIR INFLUENCE ON THE PHYSICAL, SOCIAL, AND MORAL CONDITION 

OF THE PEOPLE. 



Founded on the "Statistical Illustrations of the British Empire." Published by J. Miller, 
5, New Bridge Street, Blackfriars. 



By JOHN POWELL. 



" The people are destroyed for lack of knowlege." 

Husea iv. 6. 

A thousand stories which the ignorant hear and believe, die away 
when the computist takes them within his grasp." Dr. Johnion. 



LONDON:— 1826. 



VOL. XXVI. Pam. NO. LIL 2 H 



ADVERTISEMENT. 



Had the Author been happy enough to have met with any thing in 
the publications of the day calculated to lead to the conclusion, that the 
interesting, involved, and vastly important subject of the following work 
was understood by the writers, he would not have imposed on himself 
the onerous labor he has performed. Could any conceive the difficulties 
of suck a labor to an uneducated man, dependent on mechanical occu- 
pation, unassisted and unencouraged (save that the most intelligent and 
opposed, whom he has met, have never been able to controvert his conclu- 
sions) they would rather wonder it should have been performed at all, than 
find fault with its defects. It never would have been performed by him, 
had not the ardor of his desire to aid in obviating the calamities which 
ignorance entails, and the anguish of feelings they excite, been commen- 
surate to the clearness and force with which the subject has impressed las 
own mind. Truth is the great object he has labored to establish ; if he 
has succeeded in that object, it will be the peoples own fault, should such 
calamities as have lately and still agitate the public mind be continued, 
as they inevitably will, unless the causes are removed by them to whom 
the labor of removing them belongs. 



INTROD LOTION 



It must have been obvious to every attentive observer of prevail- 
ing opinion, that the condition of the people of Great Britain, and 
the modern principles of legislation, were, until the present com- 
mercial panic, alike objects of general congratulation. The man that 
dared to question the excellence of either the one or the other, was 
considered to be influenced by bad feeling, or as not belonging to the 
age Being one of the few that venture to think ior themselves J 
have pursued a course of inquiry in an unbeaten track, which ha* 
led to conclusions directly opposed to popular opinions, and knowing 
that if truth be heard, she must be regarded, I venture to submn 
those conclusions to general scrutiny. 

The principles and combinations developed, and the changes 
effected within the last 35 years, have placed Great Britain in a con- 
dition so totally distinct, not only from all other countries, but even from 
herself, in comparison with every former period, as to render a just es- 
timate of that condition unattainable, without taking into account her 
new powers and means. In that view, so far from affording matter 
for congratulation, she presents an object for contemplation at once 
anomalous and appalling, not only to the degraded portion of the 
community, but to those also who pride themselves in the accumu- 
lation of wealth, by the insecurity in which that wealth is involved. 

Institutions are forming in various parts of the country for the 
collection, diffusion, and expansion of mechanical and other scien- 
tific knowlege, tending to increase our productive power What- 
ever scientific knowlege the promoters of these institutions may 
possess, or however honorable their motives, they becray a most 
lamentable want of knowlege of the actual condition of the people. 
Their pretensions are calculated to deceive the public opinion mto 
a blind confidence, in the rapid improvement m the knowlege and 
condition of the laboring classes. Many talk as if the condition of 
the laboring classes, in the aggregate, was to be estimated by that 
of the very few that can avail of the benefits those institutions are 
professedly intended to promote, while it is incontrovertible that 
the whole'of the laborers employed in agriculture, and nine-tenths 
of the artisans of the country, are precluded all opportunity of cul- 
tivating their minds by scientific attainment, by the exhaustion of 



484 INTRODUCTION. [4 

their physical powers, and the absorption of their whole time to pro- 
cure a scanty subsistence. The promoters of these institutions ap- 
pear to have shut their eyes to the fact, that the expansion of me- 
chanical power, which, instead of being made subservient to the com- 
fort of the laboring' classes, is brought into competition with their la- 
bor, and thereby reduces their wages ; whilst an aristocjatical mo- 
nopoly of the land, and an absurd and despotic exclusion of foreign 
subsistence, raises the price of subsisting comforts, equal to many 
millions of taxes in favor of the monopolists, the whole leading to 
the physical degradation and moral debasement of those very classes 
whose condition is so fallaciously made the subject of national con- 
gratulation. 

It appears to grieve these men of science to see men lifting heavy 
loads, which could be done with so much ease by machinery. But 
they do not point out how the poor slaves, whom they pity, are to 
obtain bread, should the labor they perform be done by machinery. 
That machinery is abstractedly good, cannot be disputed, because its 
property is produce, while the property of man is want; it is, therefore, 
adapted to his condition. But like fire and water, to the agency of 
which we are vastly indebted for the increase and perfection of the 
greatest portion of our comforts, while under judicious control; but 
without such control, they would be the most terrific agents we should 
have to encounter ; and without it also, machinery, instead of a blessing, 
may prove a curse. 

Men too, of great pretension and overbearing presumption, are 
pressing on public attention certain dogmas that have no foundation in 
truth, and are totally inapplicable to British society, under the imposing 
and dignified title of Political Economy. Science is the development of 
truth. v The science of political economy is the most delightful, the 
most interesting, and the most important of all the sciences, as its 
objects are to unfold the means whereby the greatest amount of human 
comfort and improvement can be obtained with the greatest facility 
and ease. 

That which has not truth for its basis, cannot be entitled to the con- 
sideration of science. It is conclusive of superficial knowlege among 
the people that they can be induced to receive pedantic conceits as 
axioms of science. This is to be accounted for on the principle that 
" in all popular errors there is a tolerable substratum of truth." All 
speculators, especially when they have the advantages of education, 
will occasionally make out a good case, as those who are always 
speculating in lotteries, &c. will occasionally obtain a prize. The 
science of political economy is, indeed, the science of the people. But 
as a great portion of what has been promulgated under that appellation 
is untrue and inapplicable to society, it cannot be entitled to consider- 
ation. Yet, as the bee sucks honey from tvery flower, a portion of 
the substratum of truth that may be found in the works of the economist, 
will be occasionally availed of in the discussion of the subjects that 
may be brought under consideration. No personal feeling shall know- 
ingly be allowed to disparage this contest for truth. Truth is the great 



I OK 

5] INTRODUCTION. JO ' J 

object might to be established. Nothing but truth can be entitled to 
reo-ard Truth is great, and must prevail. 

Tl a men possessing faculty, as some of the promoters of modern 
schemes and' doctrines evidently do, should not direct theirendeavo- 
to unfold, on scientific principles, the manner in which newly-discoye.ed 
mechanical power has affected, and how it ought to affect the condition 
of society, is much to be regretted. Had that been the case hey 
might have been useful to the country, by becoming instrumental in 
Xucting those who preside over public affairs in that scientific 
knowlege that is indispensable to the right admmistration of the lau s 
of society. It is possible for rulers to be very worthy men, and yet 
b as far behind the age, in the knowlege of political science as ; those 
who, when the effects of steam power and the spinning-jenny are 
so obvious, would still adhere to the distaff and spind.e. 

Without such scientific knowlege among rulers, instead ot pro- 
portionably elevating the condition of society, that newly-discovered 
scientific power may become instrumental, in enslaving, »<*Ji^tang, 
and debasing those who constitute the strength and sinews of the state 
and of hurling the nation from its proud pre-eminence, to rank with 
others in fallen greatness. fi i„ nna 

Without such knowlege none can be entitled to public confidence 
in the management of its affairs, as none can be fit to direct that which 
they do not understand. . 

Nothing can be more conclusive of the fact of prevailing igno- 
rance on this subject, than the incontrovertible tendency ot the existing 
order of society, and of the doctrines called political economy to pro- 
duce a convergence of money influence, or despotism, which is the 
worst of all despotisms, as it weakens the bonds of society, by reducing 
the affections of human nature to a money value on the one hand and a 
divergence of poverty and misery on the other ; or in other words, in- 
creasing wealth in fewer hands, and extending privation among greater 
numbers, the unerring indicators of national decay according to all 
experience and all history. -.,./• i • 1 ♦• ,;,,.„ 

That social institutions are susceptible of scientific elucidation is un- 
questionable. That such elucidation has never been effected is ap- 
parent from the contrariety of opinions and confused notions of legis- 
lators, on the various subjects that come before Parliament Such in- 
stitutions do not appear to have been put to the test ot ^alytica 
investigation, until the recent publication ot the volume of Statistical 
Illustrations, from which the following conclusions are chiefly deduced. 
Genuine science is tardy in its progress ; but the science of social go- 
vernment, or National Policy, is so interesting to all, from its superiority 
to all others, (inasmuch as it applies to the condition and feelings o 
every member of the community,) that it is reasonable to hope it will 
form an exception to others in the rapidity of its advance. 1 here are, 
however, several discouraging circumstances to overcome, arising 

out of various causes. ,. ... ' 

One of these causes is the prevailing and inveterate dislike to an as- 
semblage of figures. But it must be obvious that the operations and 
resources of Great Britain are of a magnitude too vast to be brought 



486 INTRODUCTION. [6 

within the power of human comprehension, without the aid of figures, 
however repulsive they may appear ; and being properly applied, they 
lead to just conclusions with precision and accuracy. Yet even our 
most ostensible public characters manifest a distaste for, or an incapacity 
to appreciate them. 

When the indefatigable Member for Aberdeen introduced an extended 
financial statement, on the opening of a late Session of Parliament, 
Lord Londonderry , who always displayed an anxiety to fix the attention 
of the House on the " fundamental features'' of a question, said, it was 
" a motley group of figures that he could not understand !" And an- 
other statesman, a man of figures, Mr. Vansittart, whose profundity of 
reasoning enabled him to prove to the satisfaction of two-thirds of the 
Members, that the axiom of Euclid, viz. " that the whole is greater 
than a part," was not true ; being asked his opinion, some time after, 
of the tables produced by Mr. Hume, said, " he could not tell if they 
were true or untrue." If men so eminent, and whose public engage- 
ments require a knowlege of such subjects, are not able to grapple 
with an accumulation of figures, how is it to be expected from others? 
It is to be presumed, however, that the prevailing distaste for figures 
would very much subside among those who feel aggrieved by the pres- 
sure of taxation, if they could be made to understand, how much that 
pressure is increased by the very erroneous manner in which it is levied, 
which can be demonstrated far to exceed general apprehension. The 
money-jobbing between the Executive Government and the monied in- 
terests is not only worse than useless, but incredibly mischievous. Even 
the present worthy Financier, reputable as he has become with the 
public, from the circumstance of his entering on that ofiice under the 
auspicious aspect of a mitigator of public burdens, together with the 
genera} rectitude, candor, and urbanity of his manners; he, by one 
unnecessary and uncalled for expedient, committed the public to an unne- 
cessary obligation more than sufficient to pay the salaries of all the Cabinet 
Ministers in perpetuity ; of which any one may satisfy himself who can 
compute the details of the Act, 4 Geo. IV. cap. 22, which will 
form a subject for future investigation. I must, in my conscience, how- 
ever, acquit him of understanding the subject, which was complicated, as 
if for the purpose of being misunderstood. For if he did understand it, 
on no principle could the measure be accounted for, but that of a private 
participation, direct or indirect, which no one would for a moment be- 
lieve, that knows any thing of the character of that distinguished indivi- 
dual. The consequences to the public, however, are the same, whe- 
ther done with or without being understood by the parties to the trans- 
action. 

Were the public aware of the unnecessary burdens occasioned by 
the want of knowlege on the part of their rulers, they would certainly 
soon prevent them, by exciting an emulation amongst Ministers to at- 
tain it, lest the people should as far outstrip them in directive wisdom, 
as in inventive wisdom, they have outstripped all former periods. To 
be candid, this statement is introduced here for the purpose, if possible, 
of stimulating such inquiries amongst the people, as will induce them 
hover and examine the measures which may, from 



7] INTRODUCTION. 487 

time to time, be brought forward. For unless the intellectual and 
moral superiority of those that preside over our affairs, make some 
proximate progress with that of mechanical power, nothing can prevent 
the increased application of mechanical power from subverting the 
whole fabric of society. 

It is not possible for an Englishman that loves his country to feel any 
pleasure in stating facts so grievous; but if he cannot turn over the 
pages of the Parliamentary returns, without their staring him in the 
face, the mixed feelings of compassion and indignation they are calcu- 
lated to excite, must impel him to notice them, from the consciousness 
that '" England expects every man to do his duty." It was a good 
statute enacted in the State of Massachusets, "that things connected with 
the State should be called by their proper names." " However pure 
and patriotic may be the intention of rulers, the only condition on which 
the rights and liberties of the people can be preserved is, by unceasing- 
watchfulness on their own parts. No nation ever did or ever will 
find angels in the forms of men to govern it." — American Statistics. 

" It may be demonstrated that no evils are greater than those which 
result from a more favorable opinion towards their rulers, on (he part 
of the people, than they deserve; because, just as far as that undue 
favor extends, bad government is secured. Institutions of government 
are good in proportion as they save the people from evil. Bad, when 
the cause of evil, either by what they create, or what they fail of pre- 
venting, and which might be prevented by other institutions. It is of 
the highest importance that the people should know what are the insti- 
tutions which would save them from the greatest amount of evil. Institu- 
tions of government are bad, either because they in whose hands they 
are placed do not know that they are bad, and though willing, cannot 
improve them; or because they do not wish to improve them. When 
willing, and do not know how to improve them, every thing which tends 
to a knowlege of the defects is desirable both to rulers and people. That 
which most certainly leads to such knowlege is for every man who 
thinks he understands any thing of the subject to produce his opinions, 
and the evidence by which such opinions are supported, that every man 
who disapproves of them should state his objections." 

In the preceding remarks on the freedom of the press, published 
in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, will be found sufficient reasons for 
this publication. 

The difficulties to be overcome on account of prevailing distaste for 
figures in a work of this nature, are much increased by the prevailing- 
apathy among all classes that have a more direct interest in the conse- 
quences. The merchant, whose transactions are of a solid nature, 
cannot be made to believe that he shall be affected, though he sees one 
and another embarrassed by their commercial operations. He cannot 
imagine that any one can tell him more than he knows, and he satisfies 
himself that he at least shall escape : he cannot find time to attend to 
any thing but his ledger, until fatigue unfits him for reflection. When 
all of a sudden, the supposed rock on which lie thought he had firm 
footing, passes from under him, and then care precludes him from in- 
quiring into principles. Men in inferior stations do not care to trouble 



488 



INTRODUCTION. [g 



themselves, they leave to all their rulers. Ministers are complimented 
on their wisdom, and are self-confident, so that no one can conceive the 
difficulty of making an impression, but those that experience it. The 
frowns, the contumelies, meanness and self-sufficiency, even of those one 
feels anxiety to serve, would be beyond endurance, to any that were 
not determined to labor to do good for its own sake, regardless of 
smiles or frowns. Yet there are many worthy and intelligent men, 
even among the productive classes, who reflect much, but do not know 
how to come at the truth; and notwithstanding the general indifference 
which has been so materially produced by the jargon of conflicting- 
opinions on political questions, for the want of conclusive facts to 
guide them in their incpairy, and as " in the time of adversity" men will 
"consider," a hope is entertained, that the statements about to be exhi- 
bited, will be as intelligible and delightful to many, as the conclusions 
to which they lead are interesting and important. For though, 
according to Locke, " truth is but rarely known, and more rarely wel- 
comed amongst great men," " and though the people are not so prone to 
find out truth of themselves, as to follow custom and run into error, 
yet if they be shown truth, they not only acknowlege and embrace it 
very suddenly, but are the most constant and faithful guardians of it." 

Should expressions of disapprobation appear occasionally strong in 
this work, on any existing or proposed measure, to the candid it will be 
sufficiently apparent, that they did not arise from the meanness of party 
or personal feeling. It will be more just to attribute them to the strong- 
impressions produced by the various circumstances which present them- 
selves to the mind of the writer in endeavoring to perform the labor 
of analytical investigation, and the great difficulty he experienced in 
imparting such impressions to those who have not participated in 
such labors. Difficulties that arise from the tyrannic influence of 
that money despotism that has so subtilely diffused itself into all the 
ramifications of society ; which like a London fog, on a winter's day, 
— at once darkens the understanding and chills the feelings of the heart, 
so that the most burning light can scarcely dart a ray into the one, or 
kindle a benevolent glow in the other. Such strong expressions 
are from the spontaneous feelings of a man, who sees, or thinks he sees, 
his countrymen sinking into poverty and misery, through the ignorance 
of those who preside over their affairs, and with the fortitude that con- 
viction and humanity inspires, steps forward to impugn that ignorance 
without respect to persons, in the hope of doing something- towards ar- 
resting the progress of its desolating influence. 

The sources whence the information is derived, are the Parliamen- 
tary and other official returns, obtained at the public expense, under 
the direction of the Executive Government, from men who divide the 
public bounty and reward for keeping * correct accounts, which ac- 

* It is remarkable, as will appear by comparing tire aggregate amounts of income 
and expenditure on the large sheet in the volume of Statistics, inclusive of the years 
1793 — 1824, that there is =£36,641,517 accounted for as being received beyond what 
is accounted for as being expended ; although the secret service money is accounted 
for even to a sixpence. It is for those that receive the public money for keeping its 
accounts to explain how the above sum has been appropriated ! 



[)\ INTRODUCTION. 489 

counts are referred to by all the Members of the Legislature in their 
various discussions. It must be permitted to be said, that it is not be- 
lieved, that those accounts, however, are understood by any of them in 
a comprehensive manner, which is inferred from the many very erro- 
neous statements made, with the greatest apparent sincerity, without 
being controverted by any. These errors are not attributed to want of 
natural faculty, or of general application, but to the vast magnitude of 
the subjects, and to the vast labor necessary to be performed, in order 
to bring them in their relative influence within the scope of comprehen- 
sion ; a labour which there is no reason before the public to justify the 
belief, that it has been performed by any Member of the Legislature, nor 
at the public expense, or by its countenance, notwithstanding its great 
national importance. The labor, however arduous, has nevertheless 
been performed, and though not by myself, yet under my immediate ob- 
servation. The results of that labor are embodied in the volume of 
Statistical Illustrations, from which the conclusions about to be exhibited 
are chiefly deduced. The deductions are exhibited in the hope of ex- 
citing the interest, and stimulating the energies, of men of superior at- 
tainments to similar labors ; and, thereby, to lead to the development 
of such principles and combinations as may tend to set the varied inte- 
rests of society in a right direction and order of universal prosperity : a 
crisis which, in this fulcrum country must be effected, not by the col- 
lision, but by the consideration of its agents. 



AN 



ANALYTICAL EXPOSITION, 

Sfc. Sfc. 



Man, in his individual capacity, is among the most helpless of 
the animal creation. Nothing can exceed in imagination the forlorn 
condition of a human being, from its infancy, if left to itself, without 
those aids which education alone can afford. By education is 
meant all those circumstances which surround the human, and 
especially their infant race, calculated to make impressions on their 
minds and characters. Almost every thing in nature is capable of 
improvement by art. But man is the only species of the animal 
creation that is susceptible of great improvement. All the others 
preserve an uniform instinctive medium of capability. Man, by 
means of education, is susceptible of all those modifications of 
taste, capability, and character, which the different nations, and the 
various conditions of life present to our view. Said to possess no 
innate ideas, the whole human race are capable of a, high state of 
cultivation. An uniformity of capability or of character cannot 
be produced by education. The capabilities of human nature are 
as diversified as its forms. Every one possesses a peculiar orga- 
nisation, calculated to determine in what department of social 
occupation he is adapted to excel. All those peculiarities of or- 
ganisation are capable of being made subservient to the well being 
of the whole. Those peculiarities which are adapted to excel, often 
remain dormant, and obscured for want of excitements. They 
never can be known, until circumstances, always incidental, and 
often apparently insignificant, produce the necessary excitements. 
But, when developed and duly exercised, they are frequently 
susceptible of vast expansion and great perfection. 

By exercise and perseverance very moderate natural facidties 
may be made vastly to excel ; and great native powers of genius 
will grapple v/ith, and rise superior to, apparently the most com- 
plicated and opposing circumstances. 



11] Powell's Analytical Exposition, &c. 491 

The objects that excite the extraordinary powers of man, are 
seldom known to others, or even to their possessors, and never until 
the mind can reflect on its own operations. 

Henry Kirke White, an amiable and accomplished youth, of whom 
Southey was the biographer, and who fell an early victim to intense 
mental application in one of our universities, displayed the un- 
foldings of a sublime poetic genius. He ascribed his first taste for 
poetry, to his hearing a servant-maid sing the affecting ballad of 
the Babes of the Wood, when he was only six years of age; and 
before he was twice that age, wrote a poem on childhood, in which 
he says in reference to the above incident : 

Beloved moment 



'Twas then first that poesy charmed mine infant ear, 
I hi'ed me to the thick, o'erarching shade 
To meditate. 

Many years elapse with a great portion of mankind before their 
peculiar excellencies unfold themselves by operation ; and none have 
ever done all that of which they have been capable. 

There are peculiarities which the best education cannot reach. 
Human nature, with all its capabilities of improvement, does not 
appear to present an entirely passive object to be acted on, on 
which can be inscribed whatever characters we please. The most 
anxious desire of the best-intentioned and most judicious parents, to 
impress on their children correct principles, is very frequently 
and very painfully disappointed. Yet, ofttimes a vicious character 
is the result of education, arising from negligence, or overweening 
parental fondness or indulgence. The evils that are entailed on 
society by the poverty of parents, precluding them from turning the 
natural faculties of their children to the best account, is greatly to 
be deplored. In many instances, it may be perceived, that the 
finest opening powers of children become inert, for want of means 
ou the part of their parents to draw those powers into exercise. 
Parents are responsible for the education of their children, to the 
utmost extent of their means. But rulers are pre-eminently 
responsible for the morals of mankind, as their measures are mainly 
instrumental, in determining the customs, the education, and the 
laws of society. And under Providence they may be said to be the 
dispensers of the happiness and miseries of mankind. 

Man is a creature of icant, and his wants must be supplied by 
labor. From the diversity of constitutions, faculties, and means, 
some require, and others can produce more than others. 

Man is fond of ease, and requires stimulants to industry. The 
greatest stimulant to industry is the full possession and enjoyment of 
its products. 

Man is naturally a selfish creature; and undue selfishness and 



492 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [12 

the love of ease excite the desire to possess the products of the 
labor of others, without giving its due ecmivalents. 

No principle of education which has ever been acted on has been 
found sufficient to subdue this feeling. It is exemplified more or 
less by the most cultivated and the most amiable. 

They can be at ease in the enjoyment of the spoils of the labor 
of others, obtained . by means the most unworthy. This is exem- 
plified by English gentlemen, who present the highest specimens of 
human attainment. They, by their agents, often outrage all moral 
principle; many of them become proprietors of stolen property. By 
some strange perversion of all social principle, many of them are 
recognised by law as proprietors of their fellow-men. 

It is the predominating influence of this principle of undue 
selfishness that constitutes the weakness of man in his individual 
capacity, as he is not so liable to become a prey to animals of other 
species, as that of his own. 

Man, with all the improvement of which he is susceptible, will, 
if permitted, prey on his own species. The power of one man 
to prey on the labor of others, is increased in the proportion as 
he possesses the products of labor. Possessing accumulated pro- 
ducts of labor, he can avail of it to exact compliance to his will, 
with as much effect as by the application of brute force. 

To protect themselves against such principles of undue selfishness. 
and from the power of preying on the labor of each other, men 
form themselves into societies, communities, or states. 

The instant man becomes a social being, he becomes a subject of 
regulation. A social state cannot be enjoyed on any other condition 
but that of regulation. Regulation is the end of all legislation, and 
even of all human labor. 

The volume of nature supplies lessons for legislative regulation, by 
the simplicity, adaptation, and consequent efficiency of its laws. 
By the adjustment of the centripetal to the centrifugal force, the 
harmony of the universe is preserved. Multiplicity and complication 
of laws are legislative perversions. 

The formation and execution of the laws and regulations of 
society are confided to governments, which are, or ought to be, 
established for the public good. 

Government implies capacity to direct, and power to execute. 
Justice and judgment is the basis. The object of it is the security 
of all under its control, in the possession of the fruits of their in- 
dustry. The want of such security is the certain evidence of a 
destitution, either of capacity or of integrity. 

The wants of men are so numerous, and the arts of production 
so diversified, that no man can, of himself, well produce all the 
commodities he wants. The greatest amount of the productions of 
art can be obtained by a division of labor. 

Another object of government, therefore, is to secure to every 



13] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 493 

one the greatest facility of exchanging, and the utmost amount of what 
others are willing to give in exchange for the fruits of his labor. 

The government that would put either undue restraints on such 
exchange, or omit to establish such regulations as would best promote 
and facilitate the same, would commit an outrage on the ends for 
which it is mainly instituted. 

It is true the ends of government have always been imperfectly 
understood, and much more imperfectly acted on. Because they 
have uniformly grown out of contentions for power, and those that 
have succeeded to the attainment of power, have, from the undue 
selfish principles they are appointed to control in others, too ge- 
nerally turned that power to their individual or relative account. 
Whether that power has been invested in the hands of many, or of a 
few? — Whether in the rulers of a nation, or the committee of a 
trade, or any other society I — There is an innate tendency in all 
human institutions to degenerate. 

The abuses of power, and the bad consequence of ignorance on 
the part of rulers, have been so numerous, as to have led many 
to have formed the opinion, that a savage, is preferable to a 
civilised condition. 

But all that constitutes the difference between the mere animal, 
and the most cultivated of our race, is the result of civilisation, 
imperfect as it is. 

If civilisation has not secured all the advantages of which it is 
susceptible, it is because its institutions have never been formed on 
correct social principles. And it is not right to decry civilisation, 
because of the evils that have grown out of the vices and follies 
of those that have been most instrumental in the formation of those 
institutions. As knowlege advances, all questions about the ad- 
vantages of civilisation will be done away. 

Much pretension has. of late, been set up ; and it has become 
fashionable to advocate what are called liberal commercial principles. 
There is something plausible in the doctrines which have recently 
become popular ; but, on an analytical investigation, they will be 
found unadapted, and inadequate to secure the promised benefits. 
Nothing has hitherto been avowed or developed, that is calculated 
to lead to the conclusion, that either statesmen, or writers on po- 
litical economy, have taken a sufficiently comprehensive view, either 
of the operations of the existing system of commerce, or of those 
principles which are calculated to obviate the evils of that system. 

It is curious to observe, in the progress of human opinions, when 
once they begin to change, how readily mankind pass from one ex- 
treme to another. There appears to be a re-action in all popular 
sentiments. But, according to Bacon, " change is not necessarily 
improvement." Our ancestors are supposed to be wrong in one 
direction, we are determined to avoid a similar error, and in order 
to do this, we rush into the opposite extreme. Foreign commerce 



494 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [14 

is understood to be a great means of national advantage, but that it 
has been too much under the control of regulation. It is therefore 
intended to break down every barrier which has been supposed to be 
a protection to British industry, and let it loose to the wildness of 
caprice, and to the fury of commercial speculation. With the 
profession of liberal principles, certain special reservations are keptup, 
which must make those professed liberal principles produce increasing 
derangement. " It is often asserted, that every thing connected 
with commerce should be left to find its own level, and that all 
attempts at artificial regulation are repugnant to the true principles of 
political economy. This is a theory, which, if applied to all the 
great interests of the country, would produce a revolution of the 
whole system ; but it is trampled under foot every day, and violated 
with impunity. It has never been acted on from the remotest 
periods. It just commands sufficient assent to render it in the 
hands of the artful and designing, an instrument of oppressing the 
artisans of the country, who are distressed for the want of sufficient 
wages. It is only deemed sacred when it stands opposed to the 
claims of the industrious classes." The great object professed to 
be sought by this principle in commerce is plenty and cheapness, 
and which, if it could be general, would be desirable. But the 
abundance which may add to the comfort of one class, may in the 
same proportion diminish those of another, as cheapness in London 
may produce poverty in Lancashire. 

The only legitimate object of foreign commerce to a nation, is, 
to obtain such foreign jyroductions, as can be produced with less 
labor than is necessary to produce them within itself. No 
national advantage can be gained by foreign commerce on any 
other principle. And on that principle, the more free the inter- 
change the better. All parties would be benefited by the operation ; 
because it must necessarily increase their comforts, while it di- 
minishes the labor necessary to produce them. Competition would 
be productive of the greatest good ; because it would furnish every 
stimulus to the new discovery of productive power, and most 
universally diffuse its benefits, and secure a socialising influence on 
the condition of mankind. No national good can result from 
commerce, by the importation of foreign productions, which cannot 
be produced by less labor than that by which they can be 
produced within itself; unless it be in exchange for products that 
would require less labor than that required to produce such foreign 
commodities. Otherwise it would be like carrying coals to New- 
castle. 

It would be a violation of the true principles of legislation, to 
compel the members of the community to make each his own clothes. 
If by letting one man make shoes, another stockings, another hats, 
and so on, the aggregate amount necessary for the whole could be 
produced by half the labor by which each could produce his own. 



Commercial Si.'sti'uis at Britain* 495 

It would be equally absurd to prevent au interchange with foreign 
countries on the same principle. 

If that which ought to be was the determining principle on 
which foreign commerce was conducted, the doctrine of leaving 
commerce to find its own level, would be as useful in practice, as it 
is plausible in theory ; or, if it was true, as the political economists 
teach, that "products alone create a demand for products," as 
would be the case on the foregoing principle, the doctrine would be 
tenable. But the slightest observation of the ordinary transactions 
of life, must convince any one of the error of this doctrine. It is 
reasoning as if producers alone were consumers, which is not true ; 
for while the markets have been glutted with almost every species 
of commodity, producers themselves have been distressed for want 
of commodities, and interchangers equally distressed for want of 
customers. The ability to command products is not regulated by 
the. power of individuals to produce, or the wants of producers ; 
but by the pecuniary resources of the buyers. If products alone 
created a market for products, the money rate of wages would be 
of no consequence. But as products alone do not create a market, 
but money, therefore the money rate of wages is every thing with 
the producers, as that alone determines the extent of the comforts 
they can obtain. 

Let it be supposed that the wages of the laborer, which had 
been 12s. a week, should be reduced to 8*. so long as products alone 
create a market, and profits and wages rise or fall together, it 
would make no difference to the laborer ; for if he could procure 
twelve four pound loaves when he had 12*., he would do the same 
when he had but 8*., as bread and other commodities would fall in 
equal proportion, and it would be as broad as it was long. 

But if a certain number of gentlemen should agree among 
themselves to make large grants to each other, and to borrow large 
sums of money, which they have the power of compelling the 
laboring class to pay the interest of, should the interest in the 
aggregate amount to 4*. a week, directly or indirectly on each 
producer, the high or low money rate of their wages, and not the 
amount of their products, would determine the extent of the com- 
forts they could command ; for if wages were 8s., and bread 8c?. 
the four pound loaf, they would then only be able to retain six 
loaves ; if wages were 12*., and bread 1*. the four pound loaf, they 
would be able to retain eight loaves ; if 16*., and bread in pro- 
portion, they would be able to retain nine loaves, &c. So that 
the high or low money rate of wages would make all the differ- 
ence. Such is the relation in which the productive classes of Great 
Britain have been placed towards the non-productive classes. It 
is therefore no longer products alone which create a market ; but 
the amount of money each individual can command, and in refer- 
ence to such relation, it is necessary to consider commerce, in 
order to form correct conclusions. 



49G Powell's Exposition of the, Financial and [Hi 

It being thus manifest that society has receded from that sim- 
plicity of form, in which products alone create a market, the doctrine 
of leaving commerce to find its own level must fall to the ground, 
as an axiom of political science. It is not applicable to an artificial 
state of society — a state of society rendered artificial, not merely 
by the intervention of money, as a mere token of interchange, 
retaining an invariable value ; but by the creation of a quantity of 
ideal money, and leaving it to the caprice of speculation, and 
thereby rendering it liable to great fluctuations of value ; whilst 
fixed money obligations must be contracted without any certainty 
which way the relative value of money may vary. A state of 
society rendered still more artificial, by the application and expansion 
of new mechanical power, and the monopoly of the benefits of that 
power, by the mere capitalist, instead of diffusing them over the 
whole of society. Also, by an unprecedented vitiation of national 
character resulting from speculation. The man who can talk about 
unrestrained freedom of commerce, in such a state of society, must 
have the most perverted notions of the principles of legislation. 
He must be an instrument, whether designedly or not, of increasing 
the power of non-producers, to prey upon the labors of the pro- 
ductive classes. While the first principles of legislation is to protect 
the producer in the possession of the fruits of his labor. Industry 
is beneficial, and idleness injurious. Productive labor is the great 
source of national wealth. And it is true policy to prevent the 
idle from reaping too large a portion of the fruits of industry. 

It has been shown, that the money amount which each individual 
producer can command, and not the amount of his products, deter- 
mines the extent of the comforts he can obtain. And that the 
relation of the money amount of his wages to the fixed money 
amount, to be abstracted by taxation, or by rent, which is the same 
thing as taxation, determines the difference of advantage between 
a high or a low rate of money wages. These two principles kept 
in view, and the correctness of the following remarks will be 
apparent. 

It was justly observed by an intelligent and influential silk manu- 
facturer of Coventry, some time ago, that " the addition of a 
fraction of a farthing a yard, for weaving, on all the ribbons made in 
Coventry, would add £50,000, per annum to the aggregate 
comforts of its population." It is true the amount would first go 
into the hands, and increase the comforts of the weavers ; but by 
the re-action excited by its re-expenditure, it would give propor- 
tionate occupation and profit to every other trade and shop-keeping 
interest, and thereby improve the condition of the whole popula- 
tion of Coventry and its neighborhood, whose prosperity mainly 
depends on the return obtained for the external distribution of its 
manufactured productions : the same may be said of every other 
manufacturing town. Laborers form the most numerous class of 



17] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 497 

consumers. If they, by their wages, could command a sufficient 
share of the comforts of life, the money which procures them 
would flow into every channel, and benefit alike the agriculturist 
and the tradesman. The infusion of a new pabulum of life into 
the extremities, would strengthen and invigorate the whole body, 
whilst low wages, like a gangrene, preys upon the vitals, and ex- 
hausts the strength. 

So it is with regard to our foreign commercial operations. The 
whole advantages of commerce consist not in extension of what we 
send out, but in the amount we can obtain in return. When a man 
has a commodity to dispose of, he cannot be benefited by giving it 
away, all his gain consists in what he can obtain in return. This 
is a proposition so self-evident, as to be at once obvious to the 
humblest capacity. 

It would never enter into the mind of any reflecting man, that 
extension of exports, without a corresponding increase of imports, 
could be beneficial to any country. 

But any increase of imports beyond the power of the people to 
command or obtain for consumption, must be ivorse than useless ; 
as it must embarrass the importer by loss of time, and expense of 
deposit. 

On no principle of national utility can it be possible to increase 
our commercial operation with advantage ; but that of increasing 
and securing to the people the power to consume foreign pro- 
ductions. 

The arts of sophistry, and mistifieation, and complication, which 
are very numerous, may be put in requisition to obscure this princi- 
ple. But put it and them in the crucible of analysis, and they will 
all evaporate, while that principle remains entire and indestructible. 
If this doctrine is tenable, which must be believed until the contrary 
can be demonstrated, what must all the stimulus to expansion by 
speculation, and the opening of new foreign markets lead to ? cer- 
tainly to the embarrassment of merchants, and the increased 
derangement of society. 

The physical exhaustion occasioned by, and the time wasted in 
producing beyond equivalents, for such foreign productions as the 
people have power to consume, might be saved with great advantage 
to the nation. The laborers would not be so oppressed with hunger, 
and would have time to cultivate their minds and their morals. No 
man, if by a certain quantity of labor, say six hours a day, could 
obtain all that he wants, or can command, would work twelve, if he 
could get no more by it than by six. If the power of the people 
of Great Britain to consume foreign productions be confined to a 
limited amount, why should the people be stimulated to give 
more than is equivalent in exchange ? Let that amount be twenty ; 
if we give twenty in exchange, that is equivalent ; if twenty-one, 
the twenty one must be depreciated 5 per cent; if twenty-two, 10 

VOL. "XXVT. Pam. NO. LII. 2 I 



498 Powell's Exj)ositio?i of the Financial and [18 

per cent ; if we increase the quantity given to forty, against twenty 
received, that forty must be depreciated one-half. However pre- 
posterous such an operation must appear, one indeed that might be 
supposed could only have an existence in the crazy imagination of 
some half superannuated visionary, yet, unhappily, the history 
of British commerce, in later years, is a practical illustration of the 
above analysis, and will ever remain an opprobrious monument on 
the intellectual and legislative capability of the age. 

What possible advantage can arise from such excess of export to 
the nation ? None whatever. How then, some would be ready to 
say, " is it possible our merchants, who are considered to be the 
most intelligent men in the country, in such matters, should be such 
fools as to carry on and extend their commercial operations without 
certain benefit V Let it be recollected, that public opinion may be 
led into mistakes about the commercial intelligence of our mer- 
chants, as well as on other subjects. There are among them men 
of high general intellectual attainment, and some of much prac- 
tical commercial experience and knowlege. And there are a 
few, a little few, that have a considerable knowlege of the general 
principles that govern commercial operations ; but I must be per- 
mitted to say, that I do not believe there is one in a thousand of 
them. I am doubtful even if there is one amongst them that 
understands the complicated involutions of the commercial system. 
And as to the greater portion of them, however respectable they 
may be in their general transactions, their acquirements or connex- 
ions, are as innocent of all knowlege of the influential principles 
of commerce, as the generality of practical mechanics are of the 
principles of mechanism. Merchants are but men, men too, who 
think they have an interest distinct from the rest of society. What 
did Burke say of merchants ? — " a merchant is a man of no country ; 
his idol is gold; bis ledger his Bible; and he has no faith but in his 
banker." If in the days of Burke, when the character of English 
merchants was at the zenith of excellence, be was warranted in 
saying so much, is there any thing redeeming in their characters in 
later times? What said Playfair, in the year 1819? and who is 
there that can question his doctrine! — "Let the world judge 
whether the present race of British merchants be equal in point of 
credit, character, and respectability, to those of the last generation. 
I know that there are very many members belonging to the mer- 
cantile body, whose character and conduct are so pure and just as 
to require no commendation. But I assert, that the general 
character of mercantile men is degraded, as compared with what 
it was twenty-Jive years ago; that this degradation of character 
has been brought on by wild speculative habits ; and that these 
habits have been much facilitated and encouraged by our present 
monetary system." There is no truth on record more incontro- 
vertible than the above, or more applicable to the present commer- 



19] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 499 

cial operations. And it will be shown to be equally incontrovertible, 
that it is the direct tendency of our present ministerial money- 
jobbing- to stimulate such wild and speculative habits. With all 
the glowing- colors and tinsel glare by which the commercial 
system is bedaubed by popular declaimers, however well paid for 
declaiming, and by their dupes of admiring adventurers, never did 
painted beauty yield more putrid matter to the probe, than this will 
do to its deluded admirers. How is it then, that men of respecta- 
bility, and solid sense and virtue, will adventure on expanding their 
operations I Why in some foreign market, in which they do business, 
there may be a great demand for the produce of English labor (and, 
by the way, there would be sufficient foreign demand to call into 
occupation all our unemployed laborers, if we might be allowed to 
consume such foreign productions as they would be glad to give in 
exchange ; but that is not the case), as for some particular articles of 
British produce, there is frequently a brisk demand ; and if the parties 
to whom they are sent are equal in respectability and responsibility 
with those who send them, the return is sure. Well, that would 
stimulate even the most respectable merchant, and would be highly 
commendable ; but then, as the jjower of the British people to 
consume foreign productions is limited to a given amount, by the 
very circumstance of such respectable merchant being induced to 
send out an increase of quantity, and getting his equivalent, it leaves 
so much less to be distributed among other merchants ; and the conse- 
quence is, that the whole is depreciated in value in proportion as the 
quantity exported is increased. Yet no one sees this ; not even the 
ministers who receive the public money for the purpose of looking 
after our commercial concerns. To them the public look, as do the 
soldiers in an army to their general, or chief; but if their chief 
knows not where the enemy is, if that enemy be in the midst of his 
own troops, and he not know it, or if he withhold the rations from 
his own soldiers, and throws them into the hands of his opponents, 
what soldiers could fight with success under his command ! so it is 
with our commerce, the ignorance of its superintendants may involve 
the whole class of producers and interchangers in ruin. 

If foreign commerce were carried on for its only legitimate objects, 
the export of a country could not he too great, while the pro- 
ducer of commodities had any wants to he supplied, and foreigners 
had equivalents to give: but as the power of the people to com- 
mand products is not determined by what they can themselves 
produce, but by the money they have to dispose of, their consump- 
tion of foreign productions must be limited by their money means. 

It may be said, that if it is the money means that determines the 
extent to which the people can command products, it must be an 
advantage to sell our goods to foreigners for money, as that would 
increase the means of the people. Such an increase of money, 
liowever, would not increase the means of the people to buy foreign 



500 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [20 

products, for it would increase the price of commodity against 
consumers, in the proportion that it bears to the aggregate amount of 
money in circulation. 

If the number of people in a country were two millions, and its 
circulating medium two millions, the price of all commodities would 
bear a certain proportion ; but if the money should be increased to 
four millions, while the number of people and its transactions remain 
the same, the price of all commodities would be double what it was 
when there was only two millions ; if to three millions, the price of 
commodity would be increased one-half, and vice versa. And the 
very circumstance of carrying produce from a country where money 
abounds to sell it in countries where money is scarce, would render 
it necessary for the producer to work at low wages in order to effect 
such a sale. Thus carrying on foreign commerce for money instead 
of produce, would have the effect of raising the price of commodity 
to the British producer, and lowering his wages at the same time — 
diminishing his means of consumption both ways. The evil of selling 
produce for money, in countries where it is scarce, are not confined 
to the foreign transactions. For by the same rule, as the British 
producers must work cheap in order to sell in foreign markets, they 
must be compelled to work cheap, in order to sell in their own. Thus 
they would not only not be able to purchase foreign produce, but be 
compelled to multiply their hours of application, in order to procure 
a mere subsistence. Many merchants who sell for money, say to 
the manufacturer, " you must let me have the goods cheap, or I 
cannot sell them ;" accordingly wages are reduced to enable them to 
sell cheap. It is true that the producers would resist such a 
reduction of wages if they could; but while the supply of labor 
exceeds the demand, and machinery can be brought into competition 
at half the cost of wages, the laborers cannot help themselves ; 
they mnst work for low wages. Should the merchant buy foreign 
productions with the money for which he sells his goods and bring 
them home, he cannot find a mai*ket for them. He left so little to 
be distributed among the producers of the commodities he took 
out, that they have nothing left to buy what he brings in return, so 
that to effect a market abroad, he destroys his customers at home. 

Many merchants and tradesmen make very light of the laborer. 
They think if he has enough to enable him to perform his labor 
when employed, that is sufficient ; indeed they do not care if the la- 
borer has part of his subsistence at the expense of the parish, so that 
they can have their goods cheap. But this shows that their ideas do 
not extend beyond their ledgers ; that they never think about princi- 
ples, cause and effect : for they can only realise returns to the amount 
of the power of the people to consume foreign productions, and 
that power depends on the money rate of wages. Indeed, many 
seem to think it is sufficient if non-producers can be consumers of 
foreign productions, or their principles of action lead to such a 



21] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 501 

conclusion. But if the power of some of the non-producers to 
consume foreign productions be increased, the number of such con- 
sumers is obviously diminished in the same proportion. 

If foreign trade was carried on for goods alone, and not for 
money, it would be of no consequence what the wages of labor 
were in any country; for where they were high, the laborer 
would be able to give high prices for foreign products brought in 
return, and where they were low, by the same rule, he could only 
give low prices. 

We often hear of English cottons being sold for less money in 
foreign markets than they cost making at home, and many say it 
is no wonder then that there are so many bankrupts. But this is 
the necessary consequence of the scarcity of money in such markets. 
As no people can give what they have not at their disposal, no in- 
solvency among merchants need necessarily to follow such under- 
selling in money price what the articles cost making. 

For, suppose an English merchant were to take out 3000 hats, 
each of which cost him 10s., and a French merchant were to take out 
an equal number, of equal quality, which cost him only 5s. each ; 
suppose they were both to go to the same foreign market with the 
hats, the English merchant could get no more for his hats than the 
French merchant. It might be said, " then one must get great 
profits, or the other have great loss. We could not compete with 
them on such terms." The English merchant, however, would get 
as much of the produce of the country for his hats, as the French 
merchant ; and if they carried that produce home, where the French 
laborer had 5*. to lay out, the English laborer would have 10s. ; 
so that supposing the proportion of wages to profits were the same 
in both countries, the cost of the hats would make no difference. 
Suppose even that the English merchant sold his hats for 5s. each, 
yet if with the money for which he sold the 3000 hats he could buy 
1000 quarters of grain, which he could bring home and sell for 45s. 
per quarter,- he would then get 50 per cent profit on his outlay, 
towards defraying the expense of freight and other incidentals, and 
himself and the country would be gainers by the transaction. 

If the goods be sold to raise a money amount, however, in a 
country where it is scarce, that are produced in a country where 
money abounds, it is quite clear, the producers in such a country 
must give high prices for their provisions, while they must work 
cheap to effect such sale of their productions. 

For, suppose the circulating medium of Great Britain to be 20 
millions sterling, and one million sterling of gold should be imported, 
and converted into money, or the Bank be allowed to take up that 
gold, and issue paper to the amount, which is the same thing, the 
transactions being the same, it is quite clear, that commodities 
would increase in price 5 per cent. If two millions be added to 
the circulating medium, they would be raised 10 per cent ; suppose 



502 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [22 

this money came into the hands of individuals that should lay it out 
in land; demand for land would raise the price. We frequently hear it 
stated in proof of increasing national wealth, that a quantity of land, 
which some years ago was bought for £400, was sold for £800 or 
£1000. The land however was the same. It might, indeed, have 
been somewhat improved from the time it was bought for £400. The 
parties that so purchase it, expect to raise interest on their money 
by the proceeds of the land, as well as those who had bought it for 
so much less money ; and the price of its produce must be raised to 
effect this increase of interest, so that the British laborer is obliged 
to give more for his provisions on that account. 

Suppose individuals held this cash in hand., and there should be in- 
timations of a limited supply of any article; say sugar; they can go 
into the market, and without any intimations of their design, offer an 
advanced price, simultaneously, to all the holders of sugar. They 
lay their hands on the greatest amount in the market, and by with- 
holding it, raise the price to the consumer equivalent to a tax. 
Thus, in whatever way the increased quantity of money may be 
employed, it produces disadvantage to the British laborer by 
raising the price of provision against him. 

If, however, the transactions of internal and external com- 
merce were confined, as far as money is concerned, to the precious 
metals, the disadvantages to the British laborer would be compa- 
ratively small. There would then be a natural tendency to equalise 
the money in circulation, in the various countries. Instead of 
its tending to accumulate in any one country, it would naturally find 
its way to those countries where money was of greatest value, that 
is, where most commodity could be obtained for it : and conse- 
quently it would nearly confine commercial transactions to a system 
of barter. 

Barter is the most reciprocal rule in commercial transactions ; and 
was it to be uniformly practised what the economists teach, viz, 
that "products alone create a market for products," would then 
have something like truth in it; but it is to be lamented, that the 
reciprocal rule of barter has now sunk into disuse. 

We, however, have lived to see all those checks to abuse aban- 
doned, which the establishment of a metallic currency of invariable 
value, in relation to the quantity of the precious metals in any given 
amount of money secured, by the speculative expedients of the year 
1797, and subsequent periods. And although the Bank Restriction 
Act was abolished by what was called Mr. Peel's Bill, in 1819, which 
produced a new derangement of society, and which gave rise to a 
new discussion of the question of currency, in which there was as 
great a display of philosophical research as ever was unfolded 
within the walls of the House of Commons, yet none appear to 
have understood the true principles of currency. A metallic currency 
would, by its limited quantity, preserve an equilibrium : but is far 



23] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 508 

from being the best that could be adopted by an efficient adminis- 
tration. But unfortunately they stumble on this subject, as well 
as on the commercial and financial systems ; the good they do is by 
accident, although they may design well. 

It is not possible that any thing could be worse managed than 
our present monetary system, in this advanced state of human know- 
lege. Certain it is, nothing could be more injurious to the labor- 
ing class; for the evils of our commercial operations for money 
arise chiefly, as far as money is concerned, from the speculative 
creation of ideal money, without regard to any fixed principle of 
effective legislation, although the act that repealed the Bank Re- 
striction Bill was imperative, that the Bank of England, and country 
banks, should not issue more bills in amount than they had gold to 
meet. The numerous failures of country banks are conclusive proofs 
of the inefficacy of that condition. The banks have issued paper to 
the land owners, on the security of their lands, and that has increased 
the amount in circulation, and thereby nominally increased the 
money value of the land. The government have 30 millions of 
exchequer bills afloat, originally issued to prevent a resort to 
increasing direct government taxation. But, by such expedient, 
they evidently lay the public under a heavier taxation, the price 
pf commodity being increased thereby : for suppose the Bank 
of England get possession of seven or eight millions of exche- 
quer bills, it is quite clear they could issue their own notes to 
the amount of the exchequer bills they hold ; and should the 
government require of them to produce gold for their notes, they 
would immediately turn round on them and say, "give us cash 
for your exchequer bills, and we will find gold for our notes." — 
There are other government expedients, and of the most useless 
and profligate nature, that have a direct tendency to produce similar 
results, which cannot be explained here, it being incompatible with 
the present purpose. However, such expedients thiwow an im- 
posing appearance over affairs, and many realise great gains by the 
operations, and compliment the measures that secure them. As 
there is evidently a much greater disposition, ou the part of minis- 
ters, to attend to the representation of those who have an interest in 
flattering, than to those that have the hardihood to speak the truth ; 
they come down to Parliament, and congratulate the country, and 
compliment each other on the wisdom of their measures, and the 
splendid results to the country. Presuming on the delusive appear- 
ances thus created ; stimulated by the example of more distinguished 
speculators ; fired by the prospects of great profit, and the golden 
harvest held out, all the subordinate ranks of fortune-hunters speculate 
on their credit, from the merchant to the porter. A tradesman having 
a bona fide transaction to the amount of €200 only, draws a bill for 
£()00, and allows the other party to draw for £400 ; thus £1000 
is created out of a £200 transaction. It is not intended to denounce 



504 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [24 

such transactions, if the means of the parties are equal to the obli- 
gations. The moral part of the question will be a subject for future 
discussion ; it is the magnifying influence of such transactions on the 
circulating medium that is under consideration here. Again, an 
advantageous bargain is offered, and, presuming on their credit, mer- 
cantile houses overdraw their means ; and, while chances are fa- 
vorable, great profits are often realised. By all these speculative 
operations, conjointly, viz. exchequer bills, bank notes, and bills 
of exchange, added to the real substantive currency, the amount 
is more than doubled ; and from sueh doubling, the price of sub- 
sisting commodity is more than doubled to that of other countries to 
the consumer. It is remarkable, that while these expedients have 
full swing, the Minister exultingly says, "capital is floating about, 
seeking profitable employment;" but, should a few of the bubbles 
blown by such speculative expedients burst, the newspapers cry 
out, there is a scarcity of money in the market. 

It is this extensive creation of ideal currency and speculation, 
which, by raising the price of all commodities, constitutes the disad- 
vantages of foreign commercial transactions for money, instead of 
those for real commodity. It is hardly necessary to say, that it 
secures great advantages to a few of the fortunate speculators in 
such transactions, who have the example of their rulers to plead in 
justification, while it exposes the fair tradesman, who endeavors 
to obtain a creditable living, by honest industry and fair competition, 
to great difficulties. It prevents any aggregate advantages to the 
nation, by an extension of exportation of the products of its industry, 
precluding the producers from being consumers of such foreign pro- 
ductions as could otherwise be obtained in return, and who are 
therefore obliged to work without that reward which alone can 
sweeten labor. 

It being the lot of British laborers to live in a country where 
there is so much ideal money in circulation, tending to enhance the 
price of all commodity against them, while the products of their labor 
are exported to countries where ideal money has no effect on the 
price of provisions, and are there sold for a money amount, it is not 
possible for British laborers to compete on such terms, unless they 
double the application required in foreign countries to enable them 
to obtain subsistence. 

Much is said about the necessity of competition with foreigners, 
and of our ability to compete. A sapient and paternal statesman 
says, " the English work so much harder than foreigners, that they 
can afford to work cheap ," and, says another, " they must work 
cheap, or how are we to compete with foreigners." We are also 
told of our machinery enabling us to work cheap. If the benefits of 
machinery were diffused among all classes, instead of being mono- 
polised by the capitalist, and brought into competition against the 
laborers, we might be able then to compete with more advantage 



25] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 505 

against such an overwhelming speculative creation of ideal money. 
But in order to effect a foreign competition under such a perversion 
of principle, the English laborers, though they have multiplied 
vastly in their numbers ; increased in the intensity and hours of 
their application ; put their wives, their daughters, and children in 
their infancy to productive occupations, and though they have 
racked their inventive faculties to increase their productive power, 
they are still limited to the aggregate consumption of a diminished 
amount of domestic and foreign comforts, since the years 1791-2, 
as will be shown and fully established hereafter.' 

Such being the obvious tendency of foreign competition for money 
amounts, under a speculative unregulated creation of ideal currency, 
and such being the incontrovertible consequences of so great a per- 
version, the man that can talk about leaving things to find their own 
level, however amiable he may be in his natural disposition, should 
be transported into a country emerging from barbarism, and labor 
to irradiate their benighted minds with his illuminations. The 
people that can be induced to bow to such dogmas, in a country so 
pervertedly artificial as Great Britain has become, should monopo- 
lise all the benefits of his doctrine. But Heaven protect them from 
such delusions, and the mischievous consequences that must follow. 
Whatever pedants may teach, as an Englishman that must be in- 
volved in the consequences, I assert, that it is the imperative duty 
of those that receive our money for managing our affairs, on a pre- 
sumption of their legislative wisdom, to adopt regulations commen- 
surate with, and adapted to the circumstances in which those specu- 
lative measures have placed us. 

It is quite obvious, that, with many people, nothing is deemed 
essential to the orderly conduct, well being, and happiness of the 
British laborers, but plenty of employment. It is certain, that no 
people can be more orderly and happy, if with plenty of employment 
they can obtain its fair reward. Because, there is no people more 
naturally industrious, more ingenious in devising effective productive 
power, or more susceptible of intellectual attainment and moral im- 
provement. But it is a phenomenon in society too extraordinary to 
exist to a great extent, for a people to be industrious and usefully 
inventive, and to submit to privation, and still be orderly and 
happy. They may, indeed, be quiet, but it cannot be the quiet of 
happiness, but the quiet of apathy, arising from a broken and sub- 
dued spirit. This is the present state of the great mass of British 
laborers. 

It was said by the late Lord Londonderry, that " it would be 
well to keep the people employed, if it were only to dig holes and 
fill them up again." Even that would be better than the present 
commercial system, as far as regards the quantity exported over 
and above the substantial equivalents received in return. Not 
indeed if the mischief ended with the foreign transaction. For 



506 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [26 

then it would be highly creditable to the benevolence of the British 
nation to say to foreign countries, "It is so necessary to the 
comfort of the British people, that they should be well employed ; 
but it would be so injurious to their habits and characters, to give 
them the full reward of their industry ; and such is our paternal 
concern to make them happy by keeping them employed ; and at the 
same time to preserve their characters from being injured by excess 
of enjoyment, that we invite all you foreign nations that are not so 
fond of work, to send over to us your raw materials for manufacture, 
and we will return them to you in a manufactured state, free of cost; 
and thus the happiness of our laborers who are so fond of work, 
and you that do not like work, will be promoted at one and the 
same time." This may appear very fanciful, but our transactions 
with foreign countries, not under British dominion, as far as 
substance is concerned, leaving money out of the question, the 
injurious influence of which, on commercial transactions, has 
been already shown, and however fanciful, it will then be found a 
reality in practice. Take, for instance, the year 1822, and it will be 
seen that our exports for that year, to foreign countries not under 
British dominion, were £44,523,000: our imports from the same 
only £16,617,000. £10,500,000 of those exports were colonial 
productions re-exported, the equivalents against which would take 
£10,000,000 from the £16,617,000 imported, so that the amount 
is not £16,617,000 in return for £44,523,000, but £6,617,000 
against £34,523,000 exported : and estimating the raw material 
for manufacturers at 20 per cent, it would take the £6,617,000 
of raw materials to make up the £34,523,000 exported. So that 
what has been stated, however incredible it may appear, is a 
practical reality — and who can controvert it? Let him who can. 

But, however kind and benevolent this system may appear, it 
would be better for English laborers, if the labor they bestow 
on this excess of manufactures exported were employed even in 
digging holes and filling them up again, as far as regards the 
aggregate of comforts that would be distributed amongst them ; 
because, in that case, the mischief would end with the labor. 
But in the case mentioned, so much deficiency of foreign equivalent, 
withheld from so great an export, effects a corresponding de- 
preciation of money value on manufactures for internal consumption, 
and thus the British laborer is despoiled both ways : that is, both 
by what he produces for exportation, and that for home con- 
sumption. The idlers abroad reap the benefit of our excess of 
export, and the idlers at home, having fixed money incomes, enjoy 
the benefit of reduced wages, by the cheapness of the manufac- 
turing commodities they consume. The British laborer is not only 
injured by the foreign excess, and the domestic despoilment, con- 
sequent on the depreciation effected by that excess ; but by the 
want of that re-active and exciting influence, which the rapid 



27] Commercial Systerns of Great Britain, 507 

circulation occasioned by the re-expenditure of wages produces; 
wages being the determining principle of consumption. The more 
ample they are, the more they would add to the aggregate amount 
of comforts consumed ; and consequently the greater amount of 
productive inventions and manual power would be brought into 
occupation, and none that are able to work would have need to go 
to the parish, to depend on their friends for assistance, or to starve ; 
for it should be kept in view, that we are in a predicament so totally 
different to all former periods of distress which have arisen for 
want of production. Lord Liverpool said very sagaciously, " we 
are distressed, because we produce too much." Yet, with all the 
foreign waste already in operation, and all the despoilment of non- 
producers at home, yet tens of thousands are distressed for want 
of employment, while hundreds of thousands are laboring- and 
struggling with privation, at the same time. From whence arises 
the excess of production? Does it arise from the wants of the 
people being too limited to absorb it I No ! It arises from the fact, 
that the rate of money wages determines the power of the people 
to consume. But with this incontrovertible fact, staring every man 
in the face, it is the direct tendency of the existing system of 
policy to keep down money wages, and keep vp the price of sub- 
sisting commodities at the same time. A standing libel on British 
legislation, which time will never efface ; such a perversion of the le- 
gislative principle, cannot certainly be the object of choice. It is, 
therefore, the result of that want of kuowlege which ought to be 
possessed by those who accept the public money for managing its 
affairs. 

It may be said, that to suppose our rulers are strangers to the 
principles in operation, is to suppose they are precluded the use of 
their common understandings. It has even been admitted by a 
committee of the House of Commons, appointed to inquire into the 
operation of the poor laws, that " there is a disease existing in the 
state, that threatens to undermine the foundation of society." But 
this was said in reference to the amount of parish rates, which is 
the natural result of the policy described. However, that portion 
of the poor rates which is distributed among laborers employed, 
or who are able to work, is only so much withheld from the fair 
reward for labor, to be distributed through the more degrading 
and demoralising medium of the parish, by taxing the public for the 
supposed benefit of individuals. 

When the panic that has already set in among the mercantile 
part of the community shall have worked that general wreck,, 
which cannot be obviated by any palliative measures ; the mass of 
the laborers will be thrown on parish rates, and by preying 
on the middling classes, with a force as irresistible as an over- 
whelming flood, will at once plunge them into the ranks of poverty. 
Already has the severity of poverty extended its influence, and 



508 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [28 

blunted the feelings by its commonness, against the distribution of 
parish relief; so much so, that even in London, where the greatest 
portion of active excitement prevails, and ample wages are distri- 
buted, occasioned by the concentrated re-expenditure of taxation, it is 
not possible to pass the streets without witnessing numbers of able- 
bodied men, in the prime and vigor of life, in the most forlorn and ap- 
palling condition ; while many of those, who from their connexions are 
obliged to keep up appearances of decency, and by anguish, both 
mental and moral, which is concealed from view, suffer more than 
the visible objects of misery. It is impossible for men of solid 
information to pass one of these miserable objects without depre- 
cating the folly of the system that entails it, and without ineffable 
indignation at those who, amid such scenes, can applaud such a 
system ! 

Many that witness these scenes cannot account for them, and are 
ready to attribute them exclusively to the improper conduct of the 
parties themselves. Many, unquestionably, are deserving of re- 
prehension ; but the circumstances which influence some of the best 
intentioned persons, and over which they can have no control, 
compel them to do things, which, if done forty years ago, would not 
have been tolerated in society. 

By a recollection of the principles already laid down, and an at- 
tention to the facts about to be exhibited, the causes of such de- 
gradation will be sufficiently obvious, and be the responsibility on 
them to whom it belongs. For the credit of the country, and for 
the respect justly borne to wise and good rulers, it would be well 
if they could be controverted. — But let them be put to the test. 

The quantity of British produce exported, on the annual average 
of the three years, 1790-2, was £17,135,000, which had increased 
in 1824 to £51,718,000. But the amount of foreign productions 
imported, retained for home consumption, only increased from four- 
teen to thirty millions ; out of which there was an excess of seven 
millions imported from the West and East Indies, and China, and 
Ireland, the result of slave-labor, monopoly, and human degra- 
dation in those countries, and not at all as equivalents for British 
productions exported, and also to the amount of two millions more 
to defray the interest on foreign loans. These amounts subtracted will 
leave the proceeds only £21,000,000, to be distributed in profits and 
wages, for a quantity of fifty-one millions of British produce exported. 

Estimating the raw materials required for the thirty-four mil- 
lions excess of exports in 1824, beyond those of 1790-2, at 
£6,500,000, and the imports held in stock for want of customers 
at £5,000,000 (both of which are under-rated), and the surplus 
drawn from the slave-labor, &c. for the sole benefit of a numerous 
non-productive class, and it will be found that there are even less 
foreign products distributed among the people at large at the present, 
period, than in 1791-2, notwithstanding the vast increase of exports. 



29] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 509 

In consequence of the stationary amount of imports, although 
the quantity exported in 1824, on the annual average of the ten 
years, 1798 — 1807, had increased from twenty- four to fifty- one 
millions, official values, the real value had not increased more than 
from forty to forty-one millions, and wages, and consequently the 
means to consume subsisting comforts, had fallen one-half. Thus, 
with an increase of four millions of people, and of labor among pro- 
ducers, machinery, and all the aids derived to production by women 
and children, the increased physical exhaustion consequent on such 
increase of exertion, and the increased number of non-producers, 
and luxurious living among them, the amount of subsisting com- 
forts consumed had scarcely increased. 

The excess of exports over imports in the three years, 1822-4, 
would in the ten years, 1798 — -1807, have sold for nearly as 
much money as would have paid the taxes of the last three years. 
During the late war, the excess of exports over imports, which 
was 500 millions, went to defray the external expenses of the war ; 
but now there is no war, the excess is even greater. The excess, 
too, is more than is distributed in wages, among one million of 
producing families, containing 4,800,000 persons, with the poor 
rates thrown into those wages. 

The whole, producing an unexampled extent of privation in sub- 
sisting comforts — of mental subjugation; which must precede appli- 
cation for parochial relief — of social degradation; for they that 
accept relief are degraded in the estimation of themselves and others, 
and at least one-third are so degraded — of abject submission; 
as the lowest price at which protective justice is administered, is 
out of the reach of their money means — of moral debasement ; 
the committals for crime having been quadrupled in less than twenty 
years, the number being in 1805, 5600 ; and in 1823, 22,099 : there 
were 72,000 committals in the ten years, ending 1819, 14,000 of 
whom were acquitted, and against 11,000 of whom no bills were 
found, after many of them had been in prison nearly six months. 
It is said that not more than 25 per cent, on the whole amount of 
crimes are detected, the science of theft having become more perfected 
than that of legislation. Whether these facts be considered in re- 
lation to the insecurity of property, the demoralisation of character, 
the severity of the laws, or the arbitrary disposition of magistrates, 
they present subjects for contemplation, equally appalling. The 
whole of these derangements of society are mainly attributable to 
the errors of our monetary, financial, and commercial systems, 
and will furnish the subjects of the following analytical exposition. 

It has been stated, that the exportation of British manufactures 
had increased since the three years, 1790-2, from seventeen to 
fifty-one millions in 1824, while the imports had only increased from 
fourteen to thirty millions. But when the seven millions of imports 
that come in, over and above the quantity sent out to our foreign 



510 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [30 

possessions, are deducted, f^° ^^™^Z^^ 
L payment of the interest of ban *J™»* £ aistributed m 
only 1 leave the proceeds ot £«£"°™ ^™ except the bills that 
pro fits and wages a^unst *££-£ ^'othe/foreign expen- 

srssstts whicb *^— ^ 

Suppose an English manufacturer has done ^ 89 * od8 tQ ^ 
to the P1 extent of £10 000 per «^ r ?\X "mount of £2000 
amount ; and that ***£$*. £« m -m Ireland. How 
more, he would expect £1-000 pel ann aHifidWI 

would it be raised? Ireland must : send its nat ^ 
produce to England, and sell as much as w^ ^^ 

amount of £12,000 to the ^^^ ^„" connexion with 
that comes in on account of rent jod&teve no ^ .. 

his trading concern, and wouW not ^^ith J tUcomes in 
profits and wages. This is P^ciseiy m ^^ m(mo _ 

from our foreign possessions, on accoun t oi . ^ ab _ 

polists, West India colonia and slave J^Tof British produce 
Jentees, beyond equivalents for p ^ affi ount ^ & 

exported to those countries res P e f^; d West Indies is re- 
portion of the surplus drawn from he East ^ 
Exported, and, it must at once ^ e^ulent m ^^ 

return for such foreign productions re-expo r ted is s ^ 

profits and wages. c lirP l U s drawn from our foreign 

The internal consumption of he surplus Jiaw of ^ 

possessions, at the expense of the physica J * e o j ^ game 

Suctive classes of those pos ^^J^f Ration (with this 
principle as the internal re-expe ndit ure ot ^ ^ 

difference, that it is taxation at the expen 8Ust aining a 

instead of British labor); whereby, in ddiUoi ^^ 

number of non-productive consumer. .many ot ^ ^ ^ benefit 
become producers, or go to tae P a [ isn ' * £ of its distribution. 

to certain classes of ^^"gSa^ 

The benefits diffused by the re-distnbu^ than counter _ 

some interchanges, and even Producers « ^e e occasioned by the 
balanced by the privation and ^X^rXent taxation, in 1825, 
collection; but, after all the amount o J5^™^ le consider 

ascomparedwithwhatitwasinl^ V to ^ 

to be the great cause of *»£™*J™^ ^hysfeal exertion of 
excess of products resulting fro ^^^endent of machinery, 
the producing families of Great Britai n,. ndepe degra dation ; 

andl, therefore, in^^ pr * daoe d by 

as can be demonstrated, lne great 



81] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 511 

taxation are more the result of the injudicious manner in which some 
are levied and re- distributed, than in the aggregate amount. 

It must not be understood that the products of British industry 
exported to our foreign possessions all go to be distributed in profits 
and wages, among the producers of the commodities imported from 
thence, as a great portion goes to defray the expense of soldiers, 
and other non-productive consumers, who are employed to enforce 
the exaction of the labor necessary to produce the surplus drawn 
from those possessions. 

There is another account to be deducted from the imports, 
which should constitute equivalents for British produce exported, 
and that is, the interest paid on loans to foreign countries. For 
how is the interest paid I Suppose it be in money ; then it would 
tend to raise the price of provisions against the consumer, as al- 
ready shown. In what icay is the interest paid? Suppose from 
America. A quantity of American produce is sent to England, 
and bills are drawn on England for the goods ; the American Go- 
vernment buy the bills of the American shippers, and send those 
bills over to their agents for their debt in England ; the agents get 
the cash for such bills from the parties to whom the goods have been 
sent, and with that they pay the dividends to the holders of Ameri- 
can stock. This is all very well so far. But then, as the power of 
the people of England to consume foreign productions is not in- 
creased by such transactions, all the amount absorbed by interest on 
American stock is so much withheld from what would otherwise be 
sold, to be distributed in profits and wages for goods exported. 
The same applies to all other foreign stock held by the British ca- 
pitalist. 1 have not been at the trouble to ascertain the nominal 
amount of foreign stock created, or the actual amount drawn; it 
is believed the interest on the same is equal to £2,000,000 annually, 
and of course is increasing by every fresh loan, and may go on to 
increase until it absorbs the whole proceeds of the imports. There 
are scarcely any who speak on the subject of foreign loans, but 
who appear to think they must be beneficial, as they lay foreign 
countries under a tax for the benefit of Great Britain. They may 
benefit the individuals who lend the money, but not the country ; 
it being the British laborer that pays the tax ; not directly, but by 
the amount being withheld from that which would otherwise be dis- 
tributed as a reward for his labor. Dispute this who can ! 

Foreign loans are created as follows : viz. the Emperors of Austria 
or Russia, or any foreign potentate, wishes to effect some great ob- 
ject. France may want money to enable her to fight the Spaniards, 
the Spaniards to fight the French ; or they want it to fight against 
British interests ; no matter what. Suppose the Emperor of Austria 
wants a million, he applies to British money-jobbers, who agree to 
advance the money by instalments at a given time, on certain 
conditions, viz. that a nominal amount of stock on Austria shall be 



512 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [S3 

created of a million and a half: for which, the Emperor authorizes 
the contractors to fabricate bits of paper bearing the Imperial arms ot 
Austria, on which he promises to give £100, at some time or other, 
and £5 per annum interest on each of these bonds until the 
Government of Austria refund the money borrowed at the nominal 
price. These bonds are given for a consideration ot £75 each, 
by the contractors, who are allowed a commission, or bonus, 
for the sale of them. The contract made, the bonds are offered i or 
sale: the money-jobbers, in the mean time send orders to their 
agents abroad to draw bills on them ; these bills are sent to 
Hamburgh, the great bill mart of the north of Europe, or to other 
parts to which British merchandise is exported; and in addition to 
the bills created by the produce of foreign countries imported into 
England, the English exporter can obtain the bills of the jobbers 
as Ibove, made payable m London, with which he m part obtains 
his reimbursement; and this adds so much more to the proceeds 
from the imports that are left, after the abstraction before de- 
scribed, and so far tends to keep up wages and profits. The same 
may be said of the whole amount of foreign loans, of absentee 
expenditure, and all foreign expenditure on British account How 
these things operate in their various involutions will be hereafter ex. 
plained. The object here is to show the immediate effect on 
profits and wages which they produce. 

P It has thus been shown, that out of the thirty millions of imports 
retained against fifty- one sent out, seven of them must be deducted, 
on account of the proceeds going to the slave proprietors, monopo- 
lists' and Irish absentees; and two millions on account ot interest 
paid to the holders of foreign obligations, making a total ot 
nine millions to be subtracted from the thirty, which leaves only 
twentv-one to be distributed in profits and wages, or an excess ot 
thirty given, beyond what is retained for the above purpose exclu- 
sive of foreign loans and other foreign expenditure on British ac- 

Tf the above be correct, or any thing approaching to correct- 
ness, what becomes of the doctrine, promulgated with such avidity, 
to silence the ignorant clamors of a laboring, but famishing popu- 
lation, by the modern luminati? That they do not understand the 
principle that regulates wages, which they say is " supply and de- 
mand/' The amount of wages is not determined by the proportion 
of supply to demand, but by the proportion of the power of abstrac- 
tion. Mr. Huskisson, in common with the other political econo- 
mists, deprecates the artificial regulation of wages, as if money wages 
were not P altogether artificial: but not one of them that were ever 
heard of, deprecates the artificial abstraction from wages that has 
here been described. It may not be improper a so to state, that it 
the first principle of government, as has been shown, is to protect 
men in the secure possession of the products of their industry, or ot 



333 Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 513 

such products as others are willing to give in exchange ; when 
for the convenience of interchange, it becomes necessary to 
have artificial tokens, it becomes equally a legislative duty to 
secure to them such an amount of these tokens, as will obtain them 
equivalents of products, in exchange for the fruits of their labor. 
As the Member of Parliament, that could see such a principle 
to be correct, would be reckoned a madman, if he were to say such a 
thing, in these enlightened times, in the Honorable the House of 
Commons ; so will the man that has the temerity to say such a 
thing out of that Honorable House, should nothing worse befal 
him. Yet, as Galileo said, on his recantation, when he was libe- 
rated from prison, to which he had been committed for teaching the 
people that the earth revolved round the sun, " It is nevertheless 
true." If the above doctrine be true, how is it that the man who 
dares give it utterance, is to be covered with obloquy I It is be- 
cause the principle of selfishness, when unrestrained, overreaches 
itself. It blinds the eyes, and perverts the understanding, even of 
the learned. It must be obvious to any one that takes a comprehen- 
sive view of the principles of modern legislation, that their tendency is 
not to protect the producer in the possession of the fruits of his in- 
dustry, but to enable those consumers, who have fixed money in- 
comes, to buy cheap, without regard to the comfort of the pro- 
ducers ; who, if they cannot obtain sufficient for their subsistence, 
have the comfortable alternative of resorting to parish relief to 
supply the deficiency. By thus legislating backwards, ample work 
is provided to keep legislators in active occupation, as it renders in- 
dispensable a multiplicity of expedients to keep the system together. 

No truth is more clear than the axiom of Dugald Stewart, viz. " That 
in proportion as society advances towards perfection, the number 
of laws will be progressively diminished, and legislation itself be- 
come gradually simplified." Nothing then can be more conclusive, 
that British society is in a course of retrogression, than the multi- 
plicity, the verbosity, the complication, the frivolity, inadaptation, 
and consequent inefficiency of the annual labors of modern 
legislators. 

Lessons of legislative instruction are clearly deducible from the 
laws of the universe; but, for those who yield to the influence of 
ufidue selfishness, nature and truth instruct in vain. 

The laws of nature and the laws of society entail a fatality on 
all perversion ; which renders the fruit more bitter than the bud was 
blooming, and anticipation devours all the pleasure. Many bloom- 
ing hopes have been held out by the enlightened projects, as they 
have been called, of the last two or three years; and the brilliancy of 
imagination, and the fascinations of sophistry, have been laid under 
contribution, to increase the enchantment, Mutual and loud con- 
gratulations, " There never were such times !" have resounded and 
reverberated from every quarter: none could imagine that there 

VOL. XXVI. Pam NO. LII 2 K 



514 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [34 

was a worm hidden at the root of the gourd they were so fondly 
cherishing, which would lay it prostrate at their -feet ; and if any 
one had seen it, few else could be induced to look at it, it 
pointed out to them. " What," has been asked, » can any body that 
is not a statesman, know more than our very enlightened and po- 
pular rulers, who have every means of knowing the real state oj the 
country:' » The time is gone by to talk of commercial regulation 
the enlightened measures of Government are acknowledged on al 
hands." Warehousing bills, reciprocity bills, combination repeal 
bills, have been enacted, and new markets have been opened to us. 
« Our commerce is in a florishing and prosperous condition. 
Hear what that excellent and candid Minister (» nd ™™y ^ * 
believe him to be) Mr. Robinson says, » We have fertilised the 
whole world with our commerce." 

The vast, the unbounded prospect 

Lies before us. 

But I cannot add, said he, that 

Shadows, clouds, and darkness rest on it. 

« It is time to cut the cords which tie our commerce down to the 
earth, that she may spring aloft unconfined and unrestrained and 
shower her blessings over every part of the world. 1 his is the 
finest opportunity for the country to emancipate itself from ancient 
prejudices, and make a new start in the race for national wealth. 
« Is not our revenue florishing, our manufactures in a state ot uni- 
versal activity, and capital in search of profitable employment 
<< Parliament may now contemplate with proud satisfaction the re- 
sult of its own labors; it may look around on the face of the 
country smiling in plenty, and animated with, what I hope soon to 
see, unrestrained industry. It beholds comfort and content, pros- 
perity and order, going hand in hand, and dispensing from the sacred 
portals of an ancient and constitutional monarchy, all their inesti- 
mable blessings amongst a happy, a united, and let us never forget a 

^WhVcmdd'possibly be more pretty, or more delightful, if real J 
If real, 'twas, 

Transient as dew drops on the bell. 

Twas a description worthy of 

Those blessed ages of our onward race, 
When no infirmity, low thought, or base desire, 
Or wasting care shall more deface 
The semblance of our heavenly sire. 

Or leaving the elysian fields of poetry into which Mr. Robin- 
son's ' glowing tropes have wafted us, it is a picture worthy ot 
those times when the simple, obvious, and incontrovertible princi- 
ples of national policy shall be in operation, that do not remain to be 



35] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 515 

discovered, but which will he fully developed, when the prevailing- 
fairy and delusive opinions shall be sufficiently subdued. 

How unlike in substantial fact (and how melancholy the thought) 
was this rhetorical display, to the simple and unaffected glow of 
patriotic fervor displayed by a predecessor of the present Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer in 1792 ( when Great Britain had a popu- 
lation, participating to an extent unprecedented in the history of 
nations, in the "wealth that consists in the comforts and enjoyments 
which the people, both rich and poor, possess beyond the common 
necessaries of life ;" when she had a revenue exceeding her ex- 
penditure, with a gradually diminishing taxation, he propheti- 
cally said, " We may yet, indeed, be subject to those fluctuations 
which too often happen in the affairs of great nations, and which it 
is impossible to calculate or foresee." 'Twas unhappily too soon verified. 
A finer display of simple, pure, patriotic, senatorial eloquence 
stands not on record than Mr. Pitt's speech on that occasion. 
However the political tergiversation, and the subsequent results of 
the policy of that statesman are to be deplored ; it is impossible not 
equally to deplore the absence of such ministerial talents, united 
with political virtue, in the present times. With such ministerial 
talents, and such means, England would not remain in its present 
difficulties. 

It must be evident to every one that could pierce a thought be- 
neath the surface of that external glare, by which the present 
Chancellor was surrounded, that the pictures above exhibited were 
overdrawn. The figures touched by the Ithuriel spear of truth 
would have shrivelled up, like those of another Minister, almost as 
popular, who, in the ensuing month, in a speech almost as inflated, 
said, in reference to our cotton manufactures, " At this period 
(March 1824), incredible as it may appear, the exports of cotton 
manufactured goods alone amount to £27,337,000." The Parlia- 
mentary return for 1823, (and which was most to be believed ? both 
could not be believed !) shows that the real value of the cotton ma- 
nufactured goods exported was only £13,750,000, and cotton spun 
into yarn only £2,625,947, making a total of £16,377,000, being 
nearly eleven millions less than what was stated by the President of 
the Board of Trade, and not a single Member of Parliament, or public 
commentator, to point out the untruth of such a statement. It will be 
found too, on examination, that even the above amount has never 
been realised. At the very time the above statement was made, there 
were several cotton-weavers giving evidence before a Committee of 
the House of Commons, appointed to inquire into the operation of 
the Combination Laws ; on which subject a future opportunity will 
be availed of to show, that no combination can possibly be of any 
benefit to the mass of laborers, under the existing systems of 
commerce and finance. The cotton-weavers, on that occasion, bore 
evidence that they received only eight shillings for the same quantity 



516 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [36 

of work as heretofore they had received forty shillings. What a 
sub] set for congratulation ! The cotton trade was said by Mr. Hus- 
kisija to employ 1,200,000 hands; add to them the number em- 
ployed in the other branches of weaving 1 , viz. silk, woollen, linen ; 
add to them also, the seven hundred thousand families dependent 
on agricultural labor, at the present Avages distributed among the 
above laborers, and a pretty fair calculation of the advantages to 
be obtained from the removal of restrictions already effected and 
proposed, and from the opening of new markets, may be obtained, 
the worm at the root of the gourd will at once 6« discovered, 
and the delusion dissipated by the analysation that here follows; but 
which will prove delusive also, if the axiom laid down can be contro- 
verted, viz. that " the power of the British people to consume 
foreign production alone determines the extent to which they can 
export with profit." Then all those boasted schemes of liberal 
policy must produce increased commercial embarrassment. 

Much popular interest and exultation has been excited by the 
establishment and recognition of the independence of the South 
American States ; and the Englishman that does not exult in the 
emancipation from the thraldrom of the galling and degrading yoke 
under which the oppressed people of those States had labored for 
so many ages, must be unworthy of the land that gave him birth. 
But the great principle which most excited the interest of the British 
population in that recognition, was the commercial advantages it 
was supposed to be calculated to afford. And truly the commercial 
advantages that might be derived are great, if it comported with 
our commercial policy to allow the country to enjoy the benefits of 
those advantages. But as that is not the case, that recognition, 
instead of being a source of national advantage, must be a means 
of involving the mercantile interest in increasing embarrassment, to 
the extent of the expansion of our operations in that quarter. For 
in what way is that expansion sustained ? Has South America any 
thing to give that she had not previous to that recognition I Cer- 
tainly not. Has she any thing to give that we had not indi- 
rectly through the medium of Jamaica? No. Is the power of the 
people to consume the products of South America increased by the 
expansion ? Certainly it is natural to suppose so. But nature and 
art are two different things : and this is the error that betrays our 
merchants, as it does the political economists. They lay an artificial 
foundation, and calculate on natural results, and thus they deceive 
themselves, each other, and the public. It has been shown that ar- 
tificial means are used to destroy the power of the people to con- 
sume foreign production, and the principle of destruction of 
means keeps pace with expansion of operation. 

How has the increased export been sustained ? Ail classes of 
people have thought that South America opened a fine market 
for our produce and manufactures, and it seems to be the 



37] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 517 

great object ol* legislation to increase our exports. It appears then 
that the rulers have fallen into the mistake so common to those who 
want either capacity or industry to consider cause and effect, viz. 
that an increase of export will necessarily bring its return. To 
those whose capacity is not sufficient to enable them to trace effects 
to causes, if they would but look at results, they would see the 
error as has been shown. The principle of expansion however has 
advanced, so that the quantity which went direct, in 1824, to South 
America, was 5,865,323, being 2,576,867 more than in 1821, the 
first year of free intercourse. How has this account been met I The 
monied interest have lent about sixteen millions in the last three 
years to those States, that is, to the Government of those States, while 
the merchants have brought home the bills, and the money-jobbers 
have taken them up. Hereafter will be shown the secret windings 
of that bill-operation, which will make it manifest that our rulers 
know as little of the true principles of currency and finance, as 
they do about the true principles of commerce. If the First Lord 
of the Treasury had been aware of the workings of the money-job- 
bing on the commercial system, he would never have added to his 
other blunders, by saying, when adverting to the distress that pre- 
vailed in this country soon after the termination of the late war, that 
" it was remarkable that America was equally in a state of distress," 
without being able to point out the cause. That was a period that 
might have led the most stupid to an understanding, that supply and 
demand had become a secondary principle in commercial operations ; 
for shopkeepers were distressed for want of customers, laborers for 
want of employment, the Americans for want of our manufactures, 
and we for want of its produce — and why I because the time had 
come, and now is, that was so much dreaded by Burke; when, in- 
stead of our rulers governing the wealth of the country, they \v ore 
and are governed by it. It was the insidious workings of the money 
system, of which Ministers then were, and now are, the great sti- 
mulators, that produced that anomaly of anomalies, which drew from 
Lord Liverpool the acknowlegement of incapacity, when he said. 

Of all the ills which we endure. 
How few can kings create or cure. 

The ills that then existed were the result of that want of know- 
lege on the part of rulers that will always precede action with those 
who do not act blindly. 

But how does the money-jobbing affect commerce? As long as 
we will not have the produce of foreign countries, but lend them 
money, or cause representations of amount on paper to be created 
wherewith to buy our goods, we shall rind a market for our export ; 
but then the goods must be sold at half the value of the labor. In- 
deed, it would be well for the laborer if he could get one-sixth 
cost: but they must be sold for half as much money abroad as is 



518 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [38 

sufficient to buy the laborer necessaries at home. By this operation, 
however, it has already been shown, that so much of the produce of 
foreign countries as comes in on account of interest, must be ab- 
stracted from what would otherwise be distributed in profits and 
wages, and this operation may go on until there is scarcely any 
thing left to be so distributed. How will this operate ? A dimiuu- 
tion of power on the part of the British people to consume foreign 
productions on the one hand, and an absorption of the proceeds of 
those productions on the other by the monied interest. What 
effect will this produce on the countries from whence the obliga- 
tion is due I They will not be able to do without manufactures ; 
consequently, they will avail themselves of the money they owe to 
England, and of the inventions of English artisans, and manufacture 
for themselves. Thus we shall furnish the means, and excite the 
stimulus to enable them to do without our manufactures, by having 
their own, and thus destroy our market. 

Suppose they should pay back the amount they have borrowed ! 
In that case, it will absorb, for the time, nearly the whole value of 
their exports, and thereby leave the products of British labor with- 
out any equivalents to be obtained ; so that whatever amount may 
be repaid, will be so much withdrawn from what should otherwise be 
distributed in profits and wages, and the value of our exports must 
be depreciated to the amount of such repayment. 

Suppose they cease borrowing? Then all the bills created by 
such lending of money to foreign countries will be withdrawn 
from the amount to be distributed in profits and wages. 

How will this operate I When the time of payment comes, there 
will be a scarcity of bills. The tradesmen will press for their 
accounts, time will go on until they can wait no longer; some will 
be pressed so hard, that orders will be given for sale at what the 
goods will fetch. A sale will be effected, and perhaps not half the 
cost realised. The others that have stock must follow in train, 
and thus a depreciation will fall on the whole. At this depreciation 
what do they get? They buy produce, the produce is brought home, 
but a sale for it cannot be effected, already there is too much in 
the market ; and when that is the case, importers frequently lose 
more by what they import, than they gain by what they export. 
Taking into account the ability to bear stock, which has been afforded 
to venders by the extended and speculative issues of Bank paper, 
and the facility of discounts ; also the facility afforded by the ware- 
housing system for deposit of stock ; also the limited means of the 
people to consume foreign productions, there is reason to believe 
the stock of imports on hand, beyond the former amount, is equal 
to five millions ; suppose it be forced into sale, it cannot obtain 
a market ; suppose it remain in warehouse, by deterioration of 
quality on one hand, and expense of warehousing on the other, it 
must be finally sold to pay the expenses. Suppose importation is 



39] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 519 

suspended? Then exportation, and consequently manufacturing, 
must be suspended too ; and the money laid out by the middling- 
classes to buy foreign commodity will go to pay poor rates, di- 
minishing consumption still farther. But merchants now in some con- 
cerns are manufacturers in all the processes and exjiorters at the same 
time. Should they fail, there is no intermediate party to break the 
fall ; but the whole of their establishments are at once stopped, the 
whole of their hands thrown out of employ, on parish rates, with 
diminished means to bear them among the interchangers ; thus 
consternation and misery paralyse great numbers at once. Yet the 
spirit of commercial enterprise still stimulates, though one and another 
fail; and even the parties themselves cannot believe but great 
advantages are to be realised, that there must be some special causes 
that produce such results, and that they will be but temporary. And 
all the scribblers risk their conjectures — it is this cause, and that cause, 
and any cause but the right cause. What are the real causes? 
They are these, and no man can controvert the positions ; viz. That 
the only principle that can render foreign commerce profitable or 
useful, is a power in the people to consume foreign productions. 
That the intervention of money as tokens of interchange, has de- 
stroyed the principle " of products creating a market for products," 
and the power of purchase, or means of consumption, are de- 
termined by the pecuniary resources of the purchasers. And that 
with these two incontrovertible principles before every mans eyes, 
so far from legislators adopting regulations adapted to increase 
the means of the people to consume foreign productions, they 
legislate in a way to increase the exportation of British produc- 
tion, supplying the most artificial stimulus to such exportation, and 
at the same time to diminish the means of the people to consume 
foreign jiroductions. 

Thus the seeds of dissolution are sown in the commercial system, 
and left to itself it will destroy itself. 

The dogmatical doctrine of ratios of increase between population, 
capital, and supply, promulgated by the economist, will apply with 
much more alarming force to our commercial operations, as will be 
manifest by the following facts, which appear to be entirely over- 
looked by all the public writers, as well as statesmen ; by an attention 
to which half the political jargon of opinions about the causes of 
mercantile bankruptcy would be done away. It is impossible to 
avoid mortification at the prevailing ignorance, when it is the cause 
of ruin to men of property, and of poverty and misery among 
millions. If the mechanics of the country knew as little about 
their business as persons in higher occupations do about theirs, they 
would not be able to get their bread. It is quite obvious, that neither 
statesmen nor public commentators know even the technicalities 
of the commercial system, or they would not usher into the world 
such delusive representations, or continue to set themselves up as 



520 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [40 

public teachers, with the knowlege that they are groping in the 
dark. If it is too much trouble for conductors of the press to turn 
over the ponderous and complicated pages of parliamentary papers, 
the volume of Statistical Illustrations would save them that trouble; 
and they have been long enough before the public, and in the hands 
of public writers, to enable (hem to undeceive themselves. But 
they appear to be either above their sphere of judgment, or they 
are avoided, lest the discovery of truth should be fatal to their 
cabalistic profession. Statistical illustrations are fatal to mere 
speechification, and by destroying the jargon of opinions, they would 
create a necessity for hard labor to supply the columns of a daily 
journal. 

Much is said by political economists, so called, on the importance 
of a numerous class, "who have their time at command; that is, 
who are rich enough to be freed from solicitude, with respect to the 
means of living in a state of enjoyment. It is by this class of men 
that knowlege is cultivated and enlarged. It is also by this class 
that it is diffused." Who are the men? If many such men obtain 
seats in Parliament, it would be well if they were to devote a portion 
of their leisure to the labor of acquiring knowlege of the true 
principles of effective legislation, which cannot be obtained without 
labor. But it is a labor that would bring its own reward, without 
any of that abstraction to which physical labor is liable. Had Mr. 
Huskisson, for instance, been aware of the technicalities of the 
commercial system, he would not have told such a tale about the 
export of cottons, or a worse alternative must be admitted. 

That the readers of this work may not plead ignorance, the following 
explanation is offered : — 

In the year 1694, it was determined by government to ascertain 
the quantities of our exports and imports, which quantities they 
designated by the term official values. The use of which de- 
signation is still preserved by ministers and others. All that is 
meant by official values, is quantities, or hogsheads, tuns, pieces, 
according to the nature of the articles. The terms official values, 
have no determinate relation to the current value of such quanti- 
ties, nor was the relation of official values, or quantity to real va- 
lues, known until the year 1798 ; when, in consequence of the 
depredations committed by the enemies' vessels on our merchandise, 
it was determined to convoy our merchant-vessels, and to subject 
our exports to an ad valorem duty of 4 per cent, to defray the ex- 
pense of convoy. When every shipper was required, with the 
statement of the nature and quantity of his goods, to give into the 
Customs a duplicate, of the charged, declared, or real value of 
them, on which the ad valorem duty was levied. This was the 
origin of the technical terms declared values. If the shippers 
had given in a greater amount than the real values, they would 
have been subject to unnecessary duty ; if a less amount, on de- 
tection, their goods would have been confiscated. 



41] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 521 

It is fair, therefore, to infer the near approximation between the ac- 
counts given in by the shippers, and the bona fide value of the 
goods exported. When the above convoy duty was taken off in 
1815, an act was passed, requiring all exports (except cotton, 
linen, and woollen,) to pay one-half per cent, duty, and all to give 
in the charge of the goods exported, on liability to confiscation as 
before. 

Having given the above explanation, it becomes necessary to 
examine the results, and they will be found as discreditable to the 
intelligence, as to the vigilance of those that preside over public 
opinion and public affairs. If, indeed, there is not a determination 
to stifle the subject, it must baffle conjecture what can be the cause 
of such impenetrable silence on operations so ruinous and so por- 
tentous of national decay. 

The table, p. 36, of the Statistics in question, shows the progres- 
sive increased quantity of our exports, from the years 1798 to 1822. 
The almost stationary amount of value and of imports, retained 
for home consumption, and the declination of wages among cotton- 
weavers, keeping pace with the increase of quantity, it may be seen 
that a quantity, or official value, as already explained, of 24,457,271, 
produced a charge of £40,707,491 on the annual average of the 
ten years 1798 — 1807. But in the year 1824 (as may be seen by 
the Statistics, p. 75), a quantity of 51,718,606, produced a charge 
of only £41,835,032; so that we gave more than two quantities, or 
official values, for little more than the same amount of real value. 

It is necessary to explain, in reference to cotton manufactured 
goods exported, that the official values, or quantities, mean pieces ; 
and of cotton spun-yarns, bundles of ten pounds each; and com- 
paring them with wages for weaving a yard of six-quarter-wide 
jacconet muslin, the following results will appear (at pp. 36, 58, and 
75, of the Statistics) ; viz. 

Pieces. Real Value, or Charge. Bundles. Charge. 

1814 16,690,366 £17,393,796 1,119,850 £2,791,248 

1823 24,117,549 £13,751,415 2,425,418 £2,625,948 

1824 27,170,108 £15,240,006 3,283,103 £3,135,486 

Total Charges. Wages for Weaving a Yard. 

1814 20,185,045 13d. C 24 yards is a week's tcork, and 

1823 16,377,363 > , 7 -J almost one-fourth is deducted 

1824 18,375,502 \ 4(L (> r «■!»«"»■ 

By comparing the above statements, it will be seen that Mr. Hus- 
kisson's statement of the value of cottons exported in 1823, had just 
as much relation to the fact, as there was in the question asked Dy 
an English gentleman, when riding by a bog-cutter, in Ireland, '• Can 
you tell me, my good fellow, how far it is from Michaelmas to Mullin- 
gar;" to which he answered, " Just as far as it is from Easter to 
the ace of spades." But is it compatible with the dignity and re- 



522 Powell's Exposition of the Financial and [42 

sponsibility of a ministerial office to come forward with a statement 
so delusive on a question so important? And is it compatible with 
the responsibility of the representatives of the people to let such a 
statement go forth to the world uncontradicted? And can the press 
assume to itself the direction of public opinion, while it joins in dis- 
seminating such a delusion ? 

The difference in the value of the exports falls chiefly on the la- 
borers, in diminished wages ; a question which merchants in general 
think they have nothing to do with : but it has been shown, that 
whatever may be the disregard of merchants to the condition of the 
laborers, they are ultimately involved in the same consequences ; 
and, from that very circumstance, those who have speculated on ex- 
pansion of operation, must come off minus in their accounts. The 
panic may partially subside, but the delirious disorder that pro- 
duced it will remain unabated; and while that is the case, there can 
be no stability or security of property. It was intended to il- 
lustrate the results, in detail, on the physical, social, and moral 
condition of the people, but that must be reserved for the Second 
Part of the Exposition. In the mean time, it may be proper here 
to state, that notwithstanding the depreciation effected on our ex- 
ternal commerce, by the principles already explained producing a 
corresponding depreciation on manufactures for internal consump- 
tion, the people have increased four millions in number since 
1790-2, and all that are able to work in laboring families are put 
to productive occupation with increased intensity of application ; and 
although the monied aristocracy have increased in number and 
luxurious living, yet there is but about the same quantity of fo- 
reign and domestic subsisting comforts divided among the fourteen 
millions, as among the ten millions ; thus a laboring family, con-, 
sisting of seven persons, with all hands fully occupied, have no more 
subsisting comforts to divide among them than five had. Either 
they had too many in 1791-2, or they have now too few. The 
latter is the case; and the pressure of want occasions difficulties and 
discontent in families, and stimulates young persons to endeavor 
to obtain subsistence by other means than labor, and leads to the 
enlargement of our prisons, &c. The following results must strike 
the most stupid, and those that are most indifferent to the condition 
of the people. The quantity of malt consumed, on the annual 
average of the five years, ending 1823, was less than in 1791-2, and 
even less than on the annual average of the first fifty years of the last 
century, when the population was not half its present number. 

Population of Bushels of Money paid for 

England $ Wales. Malt. Relief of Paupers. 

1730 5,796,000 26,365,460 1750 £686,971 

1776 7,600,000 £1,521,732 

1791—22 8,800,000 28,292,732 

1819—23 12,218,000 25,320,335 £5,734,216 



43] Commercial Systems of Great Britain. 

If the foregoing facts are not sufficient to produce conviction of 
the degraded condition of the people, it must result from wilful 
blindness. Nature forbids that a wise and virtuous people can be 
made out of a starving one. A third portion of the people are sub- 
dued to the parish by the pressure of want, and as many more 
struggle with labor and privation. The social affections, the only 
cement of society, are almost annihilated. Rulers, instead of 
adapting measures to circumstances, administer the dangerous 
physic of experimental instead of wholesome legislation to the body 
politic. They turn an obdurate ear to the importunities of half a mil- 
lion of people, not to sacrifice them to unequal competition with mo- 
nopolists, who are allowed to tax them 500 per cent, on foreign 
comforts. Injustice so flagrant is incompatible with the well- 
being of the people, and the stability of the state. Controvert 
these statements who can. 

The English are the most hard-working creatures on earth ; but 
are so innocent of all knowlege of the principles that influence their 
condition, and so carried away with fine speeches, that they will 
believe any thing that is said by those that are paid for making 
them. 

Thus when an Englishman is told that even one per cent, when 
put out to compound interest will soon clear any amount of debt 
that may be contracted in his name, he is enthusiastic in applauding 
the magic power of a sinking fund, he is so astonished and delighted 
at the rapidity of increase by accumulation, that he will not deign 
to reflect that there can be no accumulation of money, without being 
first subtracted from the produce of his labor. 

When a Committee of the House of Commons, by a species of 
logic peculiar to that learned assembly, reports that an excess of 
exports over imports makes a balance in favor of Great Britain, 
he cannot be made to conceive how it can be, that giving two for 
one can be a loss to the country. 

When a minister of the crown, famed for the profundity of his 
knowlege of that learned science, political economy, comes down 
to Parliament, and says, "The exports of cotton manufactures 
alone amount to twenty-seven millions of pounds," it is believed, 
although the Parliamentary returns show that they do not amount to 
seventeen millions. 

While such principles of legislation are in full operation, and 
the people so credulous, there can be no remedy! Merchants 
must become bankrupts, laborers become paupers, the middle 
classes sink into the lower ranks, and all the powers on earth 
combined cannot prevent it. If the people would but open their 
eyes and reflect a little more ; if only ten righteous men could be 
found, and made to - see that a vessel can never be filled with 
water that has an orifice at the bottom larger than that at the top, 
and by analogy that if we export fifty- one and divide only twenty- 



524 Powell's Analytical Exposition, &c. [44 

one, it must be at the expense of somebody. If they can be made 
to see that it is the duty of rulers to prevent such a waste, and urge 
that duty on them with the firmness of Britons, such as was dis- 
played when they obtained Magna Charta. If such a number cannot 
be found in Parliament now, the people will soon have an opportu- 
nity of sending them, if they can be found in the country, that are 
qualified. So potent is truth, when it is once understood, and 
faithfully urged, that if only ten true Britons can be found, nothing 
can prevent Great Britain, with her means, from being what has 
been her former boast, The envy and the admiration of the 
world ! ! ! 



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